Aztecs Miscues Costly in Loss at #18 BYU

Turnovers spell doom on the road against nationally-ranked Cougars

BYU Athletics

For much of the 2020 football season San Diego State has been very good ... but very mistake-prone. They were both of those things again in their regular season finale.

This time the bad outweighed the good.

SDSU lost its regular season finale 28-14 on the road to 18th-ranked BYU, finishing the season 5-5.

After falling down 7-0 the Aztecs marched down the field, scoring on a 25-yard TD run by Kaegun Williams to tie it up. The SDSU defense, statistically one of the best units in the nation, forced an Isaac Rex fumble on BYU's next possession.

Then SDSU head coach Brady Hoke pulled out all the stops.

On 4th and 1 the Aztecs lined up for a field goal but holder Tanner Kuldjian stood up and ran six yards for a successful fake. The drive ended with Jordon Brookshire hitting wideout Elijah Kothe for a stellar diving 15-yard TD catch that gave San Diego State a 14-7 lead.

After that, the mistakes started.

Brookshire tried to hit tight end Daniel Bellinger on a seam route but threw it right to linebacker Drew Jensen at the Cougars 20-yard line. BYU turned the interception into a 2-yard TD pass from Zach Wilson to Rex that tied it at 14. BYU kicked a field goal to take a 17-14 lead at halftime.

In the 3rd quarter the Aztecs looked like they'd take the lead back but Williams fumbled inside the Cougar 10-yard line, SDSU's 2nd turnover in the red zone. BYU parlayed that into another field goal and a 6-point lead.

In the 4th quarter the Aztecs drove into scoring range again but on 4th and 2 at the BYU 28-yard line Brookshire was stopped for no gain. That gave Wilson, a legitimate NFL prospect, a chance to put it away. The junior QB threw a perfect pass to Rex in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard TD. A successful 2-point try made it 28-14 and that was that.

San Diego State had one more scoring chance by on 4th and goal from the 2 Brookshire slipped on the frozen surface (the temperature was 29 degrees at kickoff in Provo) to end any thoughts of a miracle comeback.

The Aztecs finish in 4th place in the Mountain West Conference, which only has tie-ins with three remaining bowl games. That means SDSU will have to hope someone can't attend or declines an appearance to extend their streak of playing in 10 straight bowl games.

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